During Holy Week and the Pascha Octave, I had occasion to fondly remember St. Andrew's Catholic Church in El Segundo, CA. It was a short drive from where I was living for my undergraduate studies, and I tried every year to bring a group of fellow students to celebrate the Bright Monday Liturgy observed there. The Church itself was a marvelous place, crafted within to be do everything one hopes that a Byzantine Temple would do. The vestibule was black and dark, but once one had entered into the main body of the Church, it was like you were lifted to heaven. The chanting was exquisite, the liturgies precise and glorious. It was certainly a good introduction to the Byzantine Liturgy for those who had not had the privilege of attending. Then at the conclusion of the Liturgy, the entire Church would march around the Temple, chanting the Pascahl Troparion "Christ is Risen", and then read the resurrection account of one of the Gospels at each corner. And then, as an added plus to hungry college students, we ate the leftovers from the parish's Pascha feast of the day before.
Here is a sliver of the Paschal Liturgy from St. Andrew's:
For me, therefore, St. Andrew's was the perfect place to introduce my fellows to the Byzantine liturgical practice, and many of them would fall in love with the tradition because of that experience. It was much to my delight, therefore, that when I attended the Society for Catholic Liturgy's Conference in Colorado Springs this past fall, I met Bernard Brandt, the cantor for St. Andrew's, and learned that he was giving a presentation entitled, "An Introduction to Orthodox Liturgical Praxis." So often I hear from people with a wide range of questions about the nature of the Byzantine Liturgical tradition, and not being able to as readily take them to the exquisite liturgical experience offered by St. Andrew's, I thought I would offer something analogous, by posting the link to the text of Mr. Brandt's talk. I'll quote from his conclusion, but the article as a whole is well worth the read: